"Poverty is having people read and write about you, when you can't read and write yourself."
This quote has stayed with me since the moment I heard it, and made me want to undertake research that was just as accessible to the populations who participated in it, as to people in academia and policy circles. Visual research methods allow people who haven't benefited from school and may be illiterate to communicate through images. Some of the most rewarding and inspiring projects I've worked on have used visual research techniques to allow people to express their issues in a way that was most meaningful to them. Check out this trailer created with Manifest Media to document one of these projects. You can also link to project's full website here.
Body mapping is a visual research technique that shows how an experience, issue or disease affects one's body and social interactions. The process of creating a collaborative map of the human body and the environment around it gives a representation of the physical and psychological impact of an issue.
Photoessays and captions created by former child soldiers take us on a narrative journey through their eyes. We learn about life in armed groups, and the journey they undertook once they had the opportunity to escape. Explore all of the photoessays here.
Community mapping allows participants to create a collaborative social topography of where they live. These maps can indicate places of safety and risk for different populations within the community..